How hard is it to hand out a tire registration card listing brand name and tire identification number to customers after they've purchased a new tire?
That's the question that needs to be asked regarding the low percentage of tires being registered annually. The issue is not about offering consumers the option of registering tires online, as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently said was acceptable.
Despite efforts to boost the numbers, fewer than one third of all new tires sold are actually registered, according to CIMS Inc., the Akron company that offers registration forms and stores collected information. That's far too low.
And while there are no statistics available on how many tire retailers are presenting registration cards to their customers, as required by federal law, it's clear many of them aren't.
And that's the crux of the problem.
Registering tires is an important safety issue. Should a tire recall occur, it permits easy notification of owners so they can quickly remove affected tires from their vehicles.
Providing the cards should not be a chore. Instead, it should be viewed as an opportunity to stress to customers, after the sale, the importance of taking care of their tires, the role tires play in vehicle safety and the reasons they should complete and send in the registration information.
Presenting the cards thus becomes a means of enhancing the reputation of the tire industry and of building value for tires in the minds of customers.
Looked at this way, offering tire registration cards doesn't seem that onerous at all. So why aren't all tire retailers doing it?
hole in one
Ben Curtis' shocking win at the British Open might be the feel-good story of the year in the sports world, but it's also a great story for Kenda USA, a unit of Taiwan's Kenda Rubber Industrial Co. Ltd., the world's 27th largest tire maker.
In a tough business climate, Kenda hit a hole in one with its sponsorship of Mr. Curtis, an Ohio native who grew up near the company's U.S. headquarters in central Ohio.
Kenda, best known in the U.S. for its specialty tires, was Mr. Curtis' lone sponsor when the young golfer turned professional in 2000.
Jimmy Yang, president of Kenda USA and vice chairman of the parent company, first learned about Mr. Curtis after he won the Ohio Amateur golf tournament. In agreeing to sponsor him, he said he was really trying ``to help a decent young man with his career.''
That decision has paid off handsomely for the company, with golf fans around the world learning, many for the first time, about a tire company called Kenda.